Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spiced Honey Cake

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
3/8 tsp Xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbs vegan butter, melted
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 Tbs chopped candied ginger
confectioners' sugar, optional

1) In a medium bowl, add the flour and dust the Xanthan gum on top. Whisk until blended. Add remaining dry ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients to mix thoroughly and aerate the flour. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl, beat the yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until pale. Mix in honey and butter until smooth. Reduce speed to low; add half of flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour mixture.
3) In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.
4) Allow the batter to rest (10 to 15 minutes) to allow the starches and Xanthan gum to fully hydrate. This is a good time to turn the oven on to preheat. Once the batter has rested, mix in the candied ginger. Allowing the batter to rest before mixing in the ginger helps prevent the ginger from sinking to the bottom while baking.
5) Transfer batter to loaf pan and bake until center is 210F, about 1 hour. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and let cool completely. Sift confectioners' sugar over top just before serving, if desired.

Review: This was a recipe that I altered to make gluten-free, with the assistance of King Arthur Flour's blog. The class I took last weekend was really helpful in teaching me about baking the gluten-free way. Unfortunately, the class also taught me that homemade gluten-free baked goods have a short shelf life, as they quickly dry out and start crumbling after just a day or two. They recommended their cake enhancer (a natural preservative), which I bought, but forgot to add into this recipe!! Looks like I'll be casting this off on my coworkers tomorrow!

Overall, I'm amazed. I can't believe I successfully pulled this off. It's moist (though dense) and cakey. It's spicy and full of ginger (it didn't all sink to the bottom!!!). It's beautiful and tasty!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sauteed Cauliflower & Apples With Pecans

1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 red apple (such as Fuji or Braeburn), thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbs vegan butter/margarine/butter

1) Toast pecans in a small saute pan, over low heat. Toss until evenly toasted and aromatic. Be careful not to burn the pecans.
2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the thyme and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more, though the apples will need to be added 1 to 2 minutes before the cauliflower is done. Stir in the butter and sprinkle with the pecans.

Review: This is another one of those times where I ended up making a side dish as a main dish. It wasn't very filling, but would be awesome as a side. Notably, in the picture you can see my apples are mushy. The recipe asked for the apples to cook for the full 8 to 10 minutes with the cauliflower. I tweaked the recipe to say 1 to 2 minutes, which I believe will be sufficient.

Adapted from:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

King Arthur Flour

I took a baking class at King Arthur Flour today. It was a great excuse to have a romantic getaway with my husband. We stayed at a quaint inn last night. We had dinner across the street, where I had a gluten free veggie burger, topped with tomato, pickled onion and a lettuce leaf bun. Plus, handmade potato chips. So yummy!!

So, here's the highlights of the baking class:

Here's the King Arthur Flour store/cafe/baking education center
 A close up of the baking education center
This is a view of my classroom - I got a seat in the front row!
Mike and I had fun with the cutouts

I made a loaf of bread, though I couldn't eat it due to the milk and butter
 Mike said it was tasty, though

I also made a pizza crust, but before I remembered my need for a photo, we'd already eaten it for lunch!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Zesty Broccoli & Lentil Quinoa

1 cup steamed broccoli
2 cups cooked lentils
4 cups cooked quinoa
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Tessemae's Zesty Ranch dressing

1) Combine broccoli, lentils, quinoa and parsley in a large bowl.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic and zesty ranch dressing.
3) Pour dressing over the vegetable/quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Serve warm, at room temp or chilled.

Review: I made this upon waking, so that it would be chilled before a family party this afternoon. It was fairly quick and easy to make. Except for one thing. This special, vegan ranch dressing is largely comprised of olive oil - which hardens in the fridge. I had to run the bottle under hot water and shake vigorously to thaw it. I wasn't counting on that happening, as I'm so accustomed to traditional ranches. For serving later, I'll need to keep the bottle out for awhile before dinner is served. It smelled amazing and gave the salad a phenomenal taste. This may become a staple dish in our house!

Adapted from: